Stewart Cink Defends at Harbour Town


Stewart Cink fired a final-round 65 in last year's MCI Classic to defeat Tom Lehman by two shots and earn his second career PGA Tour win. He trailed Ernie Els by four shots at the beginning of the final round and with three birdies in his final four holes, coupled with a final-round 74 by Els, came from behind for the victory. On the final hole, needing par to win, Cink played a nine iron eight feet from the hole where he drained the birdie putt.
Cink will try to become the third player in this event's history to win in back-to-back years, joining Davis Love III (1991-92) and the late Payne Stewart (1989-90). Love has won four times here and has played in this event every year since he joined the PGA Tour in 1986. There have been three wire-to- wire winners at this tournament: Johnny Miller in 1974, Tom Watson in 1979 and Nick Price in 1997. Kenny Knox set the PGA Tour record for fewest putts in a 72-hole tournament at the 1989 event with only 93 putts, including a record-tying 18 in the first round.
This event has followed the Masters since 1983 and Bernhard Langer is the only player to win both in the same year, when he bested Bobby Wadkins in a playoff at Harbour Town in 1985. There have been six playoffs in the tournament's history, with the last coming in 1999 when Glen Day outlasted Jeff Sluman and Stewart. Loren Roberts set the tournament record in 1996 with a 265.
Harbour Town has the smallest greens on the PGA Tour and has hosted this event since its inception in 1969. The Ocean Course on Hilton Head Island played host for the first two rounds in 1972. The purse was increased by $500,000 this year. The Golf Channel has coverage on Thursday and Friday before CBS takes over on the weekend.